Sweden and United Kingdom Sign Agreement on Development of Future Combat Aircraft Capabilities
(Source: Swedish Ministry of Defence; issued July 19, 2019)
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and his UK counterpart Penny Mordaunt sign an MoU to “examine the possibilities for joint development of future combat aircraft,” which falls well short of Sweden joining the UK’s Tempest project as had been reported. (SWE MoD photo)
On 18 July, Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist and the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence Penny Mordaunt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in London agreeing to examine the possibilities for joint development of future combat aircraft capabilities and combat aircraft systems.

The MoU is the starting point for the countries to analyse the conditions for deeper cooperation on the development of future combat aircraft capabilities, including future development of the JAS 39 Gripen.

The MoU does not entail long-term commitments between the countries, but is intended to enable future positions. Nor does it prevent the countries from engaging in similar studies and analyses with other partners.

The agreement will be effective for ten years, which is deemed sufficient to carry out the above activities. If and when Sweden decides to fully initiate a bilateral development and procurement project, additional, more detailed agreements will need to be signed.

Sweden’s current combat aircraft system, the JAS 39 Gripen, will be the backbone of Swedish combat aircraft capabilities for the foreseeable future. This collaboration offers the opportunity to further insert advanced technologies into JAS 39 Gripen.


(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above announcement is filled with so many caveats and restrictions that one wonders why the participants felt it necessary to sign an international MoU to simply say that they were going to “analyse the conditions for deeper cooperation on the development of future combat aircraft capabilities.”
By contrast, BAE Systems’ announcement claims that it “commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme,” which is clearly untrue.
BAE also quotes British Minister of Defence Procurement Stuart Andrew as saying “Today, we usher in an exciting new era in which the talents of two great combat air nations will be combined to lift Swedish and British airpower into the stratosphere,” which goes well beyond anything the Swedish statement said.
See related story in today’s Features section.)


(ends)



UK and Sweden Partner on Future Combat Air
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued July 19, 2019)
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and her Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist have signed a landmark agreement to partner on future combat air.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme, including the development of new concepts to meet both nations’ future requirements.

At the MOU signing with her Swedish counterpart yesterday, the Defence Secretary said: “The UK and Sweden have an enduring defence relationship, with our two industries sharing a rich history of collaboration in air power.

“Not only do we share the same commitment to tolerance, freedom and free trade, we also share the same determination to defend those values, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and today as part of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force.

“This agreement further deepens this partnership and sees us look to the future with a bold and shared vision of UK and Swedish air power.”

Announcing the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Royal International Air Tattoo, the Minister of Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, said: “I’m delighted that we have signed this Memorandum of Understanding, endorsing a shared and ambitious vision for future combat air systems which lays firm foundations for future collaboration.

“Today we usher in an exciting new era in which the talents of two great combat air nations will be combined to lift Swedish and British airpower into the stratosphere.”

The Defence Minister outlined the UK and Sweden’s long partnership on defence, including:
-- Joint exercises in the Arctic and in Exercise Ramstein Alloy over the Eastern European skies.
-- Swedish-made chaff and flare dispensers are used on UK Typhoons and Saab’s Giraffe radar is a key part of the UK’s Sky Sabre ground-based air defence system.
-- Swedish Gripen aircraft are equipped with radars designed and built by Leonardo in Edinburgh.
-- The UK, working with European partners including Sweden, has developed the state-of-the-art beyond-visual-range Meteor air to air missiles.

The Swedish Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, confirmed both governments intend to remain at the forefront of combat air.

He stressed the opportunities to put advanced technologies onto Gripen and Typhoon, the world class combat aircraft currently operated by Sweden and the UK respectively, before inserting these technologies onto a future combat air system.

Peter Hultqvist also highlighted the strong industrial base shared by both countries as central to securing future Combat Air power, as well as the existing Gripen fighter systems.

He added that the significant progress made to date was a result of focussing the discussions on practical considerations, recognising the strengths of each party and treating each other as equal partners.

Discussions between industries and governments had been ongoing since the publication of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy in July 2018, with common ground identified based on similar future Combat Air requirements, including being optimised for air defence.

Defence Minister Andrew confirmed that other nations were encouraged to join the UK/Swedish dialogue, on the condition that they had similar requirements.

The Air Force Chiefs of both nations addressed the audience at the event, as well as industry. UK industry was represented by BAE Systems, whilst Swedish industry was represented by Saab.

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Saab Comments on Swedish-UK Future Combat Air Announcement
(Source: Saab; issued July 19, 2019)
On 18 July 2019, the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding co-operation on future combat air systems.

Saab views the agreement as a starting point for exploring the opportunity for joint development of a future combat air system, which will also read across into the continued long-term development of existing platforms including Gripen.

Leading up to the MoU signing, Saab has worked with British industry partners, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA and Rolls Royce on a feasibility study on future combat air systems (FCAS), which concluded that identified synergies between the companies would provide a solid foundation for the further development of the required industrial and technology base. Saab will contribute with its experience of advanced technology development, system integration of complete combat air systems and related areas including sensors, missile systems and support.

“Throughout our history, Saab has continuously conducted studies and research of future concepts and technologies, which has allowed us to stay at the leading edge. International co-operation is part of Saab’s strategy for growth and the collaboration with the British industries represents that way of working also with regard to the future”, comments Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

Saab and British industry stand ready to support the outlined objectives set out by the Swedish and UK governments. Saab has not yet received an order in relation to the FCAS MoU.

Saab is today developing the next generation fighter Gripen E/F, and is committed to do so in close partnership with its strategic partners, the Swedish and Brazilian Air Forces, as well as with other existing and new Gripen customers, to ensure that Gripen evolves to meet emerging operational requirements for decades to come.

Technology development through the Swedish-UK collaboration, and the sharing of knowledge and expertise across industry, will provide additional benefits to the long-term sustainment and development of existing platforms and systems including Gripen, as well as the potential for a joint FCAS programme that will meet the requirements of the UK and Sweden, as well as the international market.


Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

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UK and Sweden Partner on Future Combat Air
(Source: BAE Systems; issued July 19, 2019)
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and her Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist have signed a landmark agreement to partner on future combat air.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme, including the development of new concepts to meet both nations’ future requirements.

At the MOU signing with her Swedish counterpart yesterday, the Defence Secretary said: “The UK and Sweden have an enduring defence relationship, with our two industries sharing a rich history of collaboration in air power.

“Not only do we share the same commitment to tolerance, freedom and free trade, we also share the same determination to defend those values, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and today as part of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force.

“This agreement further deepens this partnership and sees us look to the future with a bold and shared vision of UK and Swedish air power.”

Announcing the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Royal International Air Tattoo, the Minister of Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, said: “I’m delighted that we have signed this Memorandum of Understanding, endorsing a shared and ambitious vision for future combat air systems which lays firm foundations for future collaboration.

“Today we usher in an exciting new era in which the talents of two great combat air nations will be combined to lift Swedish and British airpower into the stratosphere.”

The Defence Minister outlined the UK and Sweden’s long partnership on defence, including:
-- Joint exercises in the Arctic and in Exercise Ramstein Alloy over the Eastern European skies.

-- Swedish-made chaff and flare dispensers are used on UK Typhoons and Saab’s Giraffe radar is a key part of the UK’s Sky Sabre ground-based air defence system.

-- Swedish Gripen aircraft are equipped with radars designed and built by Leonardo in Edinburgh.

-- The UK, working with European partners including Sweden, has developed the state-of-the-art beyond-visual-range Meteor air to air missiles.

The Swedish Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, confirmed both governments intend to remain at the forefront of combat air.

He stressed the opportunities to put advanced technologies onto Gripen and Typhoon, the world class combat aircraft currently operated by Sweden and the UK respectively, before inserting these technologies onto a future combat air system.

Peter Hultqvist also highlighted the strong industrial base shared by both countries as central to securing future Combat Air power, as well as the existing Gripen fighter systems.

He added that the significant progress made to date was a result of focussing the discussions on practical considerations, recognising the strengths of each party and treating each other as equal partners.

Discussions between industries and governments had been ongoing since the publication of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy in July 2018, with common ground identified based on similar future Combat Air requirements, including being optimised for air defence.

Defence Minister Andrew confirmed that other nations were encouraged to join the UK/Swedish dialogue, on the condition that they had similar requirements.

Michael Christie, Director of Future Combat Air Systems - BAE Systems said: "12 months ago, industry and Government launched a bold and exciting vision for the future for the UK Combat Air sector on the BAE Systems stand at the Farnborough International Air Show. This was a vision that was encapsulated by the launch of the UK’s combat air strategy and the unveiling of our Tempest concept, a glimpse into the future of combat air.

“It also marked the launch of the Ministry of Defence’s combat air acquisition programme – a programme tasked with defining and delivering the future capabilities required when Typhoon begins to leave Royal Air Force service. The importance of international government and industry collaboration was made clear and, as such, today is a significant milestone for that programme as we welcome our first international partner. This spirit of cooperation was encapsulated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all industry partners at the start of our deepening dialogue many months ago.

“I’ve been very proud of the way that my organisation and UK industry has supported the Ministry of Defence in this national endeavour. I’m even prouder to say, this is now an international endeavour.”

The Air Force Chiefs of both nations addressed the audience at the event, as well as industry. UK industry was represented by BAE Systems, whilst Swedish industry was represented by Saab.

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